By Robin Earl
Think of your ‘breathing and support’ as your foundation for singing. Just as a house has a foundation which gives stability to everything ‘above,’ your breath and support foundation will give stability to everything ‘above.’
Everything else will be able to line up above this foundation. As you master projection, placement, range, mouth shape, pronunciation, vibrato, etc., you will sing ‘supported,’ and not ‘from the neck up.’ If you sing from the neck up, and then learn to sing with ‘support,’ you will wonder how you ever did it the other way!!
As you fine-tune the toning and conditioning of the support (core) muscles and fine-tune your breathing for maximum efficiency, getting the support and breathing working together in a strong and coordinated way will make your singing easier, relaxed, flowing, because your foundation is there. It allows you to relax the throat muscles when the core muscles do their job.
A couple of ideas to get started:
1) Breathing — inhale, expand your ribcage out, all the way around, including the back. Allow your lungs to fill downward, like a balloon, not lifting the chest up. Then exhale, bringing the lungs in and up.
2) Support — realize your ribcage is flexible (to expand out of the way of the lungs, as well as protecting the lungs). The intercostal muscles will become efficient as you work on the expansion and contraction of the lungs. Feel your ribcage with your hands — feel it expand wide (and to the back) then contract as the lungs become more empty. Try to increase the expansion and contraction slowly, becoming more full and more empty each time.
How do you keep on top of your singing? If you need help with vocal issues or physical energy issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!